Honorable Dale E. Alvarez Mayor.
A Brief, 500-Year History of Guam
They have 16 grandchildren. His stepfather is the late Pedro G. He is the second eldest of twelve siblings. Mayor Alvarez attended J. Navy from to and is a Vietnam War veteran. In , he worked as a sandblaster at the U.
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Navy Ship Repair Facility in Guam. Following his apprenticeship, he worked for the U. Subsection 2. Subsection 3. The same forestry survey listed coconut palm as the second most abundant tree on Guam.
In this article I present a short history of the CRB problem on Guam and I recommend a strategy to stop the outbreak which is damaging and killing our palms. CRB is a large scarab beetle native to southeast Asia. Only the adult stage causes damage.
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Grubs feed only on decaying vegetation and do no harm. Adult males and females bore into the crowns of coconut palms and other palms to feed on sap. They do not feed on leaves, but they bore holes through developing leaves on their way to the white tissue at the interior of the crown.
Each adult feeds on sap for only a few days. It then leaves the crown to search for a breeding site. Palms may be killed if a CRB bores through the growing tip the meristem. Mature palms are rarely killed at low CRB population levels. However, trees are killed when they are simultaneously attacked by many adults during a population outbreak such as the one we are currently experiencing on Guam. CRB breeding sites can be found in any mass of decaying vegetation. Preferred sites are standing dead coconut stems and fallen coconut logs and fronds. But piles of anything with a high concentration of decaying vegetation can be used as a breeding site including green-waste, dead trees of any species, saw dust, and manure.
CRB breeding sites have even been found in commercially bagged soil purchased from a local hardware store [ 9 ]. An active breeding site will contain all CRB life stages. Adults locate breeding sites by sniffing out a chemical signal referred to as an aggregation pheromone. This pheromone has been synthesized and is commercially available [ 5 ]. A female rhino beetle lays about eggs during her lifetime.
Thus population explosions may occur when abundant potential breeding sites are available in the form of rotting vegetation following destruction in the wake of a typhoon, large scale land clearing, or war. Large numbers of CRB adults generated by a population explosion may result in large numbers of palms being killed. The dead standing trunks soon become ideal breeding sites which generate even higher numbers of adults.
This positive feedback cycle will end when the rhino beetles run out of food, meaning when most of the palms have been killed and rotted away.
CRB invaded islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans during two waves of movement. The first wave occurred started in when CRB was accidentally transported to from Sri Lanka to Samoa with shipment of rubber tree seedlings and it ended during the s [ 3 ]. All of the CRB range expansion during this period was south of the equator except for the invasion of the Ryuku Islands Japan starting in [ 11 ] and invasion of the Palau Islands in about [ 3 ].
In Palau, there was a population explosion of rhino beetles because WWII activities created abundant breeding sites. Green markers: native range; Brown markers: first detected in the 20th century; Red markers: first detected in the 21st century; Open circle: population includes CRB-G biotype; Filled circle: population is exclusively CRB-G biotype.
An island-wide survey, completed within two weeks, located CRB grubs and adults and damage symptoms only in Lower Tumon and at the adjacent Faifai Beach, an area totaling less than 1, acres [ 12 ]. Based on this information it was decided that eradication would be attempted. Here, I am using the word eradication in the proper sense, meaning killing every single CRB on the island. In theory, a CRB population can be eradication from an island by locating and destroying all active breeding sites and ensuring that the arrival pathway is blocked to prevent re-infestation.
In practice, CRB eradication is difficult.
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There have been several CRB eradication attempts, but only one of these was successful. CRB was eradicated from Niuatoputapu Island, also known as Keppel Island, a tiny outer island of Tonga, only 16 square kilometers in area. Eradication was accomplished by a sanitation program which lasted 9 years following first detection of CRB in [ 3 ]. The project used several tactics aimed at wiping out the CRB population: quarantine, sanitation, trapping, and chemical control.
These are explained below. The opportunity to eradicate CRB from Guam was lost when the infestation spread from the Tumon Bay area to breeding sites on other parts of the island prior to The quarantine had to be expanded several times.
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By , all parts of Guam were infested by CRB. Sanitation is the most important tactic in any CRB eradication project. The target is to find and destroy all breeding sites before adults are generated, thus halting reproduction preventing all damage. The eradication program employed 4 detector dogs trained to sniff out rhino beetle grubs.